Ashland newspaper may be up for sale

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Parent company announces exploring sale of properties in 22 states

ASHALND — The parent company of the Ashland Daily Independent is looking into selling off its newspaper holdings.

Raycom Media Inc. plans to spin off or sell Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., which operates more than 100 daily and non-daily newspapers in 22 states.

The move comes as Gray Television Inc. and Raycom are announcing a merger that would create the third-largest television broadcast group in the United States.

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CNHI has retained a newspaper brokerage firm to explore selling the company, according to a statement posted Monday on CNHI’s website.

“We are looking for a transaction or transactions that will carry on CNHI’s rich tradition of public service through award-winning journalism,” CNHI president and CEO Donna Barrett said in the statement on the company’s website.

In addition to the Independent, CNHI also owns the Greenup News-Times, the Grayson Journal Enquirer and the Olive Hill Times in the Tri-State region.

Barrett announced the company has retained the newspaper brokerage firm of Dirks, Van Essen, Murray and April to handle the sale of the papers.

“We’re excited to open the next chapter in our commitment to top-flight community journalism,” the statement said.

Barrett did not say when the sale will take place.

“As we undertake this exploration process, we cannot say that any particular transaction will or will not take place,” Barrett said. “What we can say is that we will consider various options as we work to find a partner or partners that share our dedication to community newspapers and the vital journalism they produce to serve local audiences.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.